Shoreham Port’s Prince George lock gates reopened this Thursday following their annual planned maintenance works this month. To keep their Prince George Lock in continued 24hr service, it is vital that the Port’s engineering team carry out a major service every year, seizing the opportunity of the relatively quiet period to carry out the autumn maintenance on the 40 tonne steel lock gates at either end of the Prince George Lock.
Before maintenance work could start, the lock was dammed off using stop logs to the East and West end and two temporary bridges were installed for public access across the locks. Each of the seven stop logs weighs 2.6 tonnes and require a crane to be moved into position. As the stop logs need to be submerged, they are unhooked from the lifting chains and checked by the Engineering dive team to ensure that they are in the correct position. This work required the efforts of the entire Port engineering team with their specialised skills and knowledge, taking just one day to complete.
A large submersible pump was then placed into the lock and the water pumped out to drain it down to its concrete floor, enabling the engineering team to service critical components. This year, the majority of the work involved replacing the horizontal and vertical rubber seals on the East gate, which is key as they keep the lock gates secure and reduce water wastage. Other tasks this year included hydraulic and electrical servicing and replacing 60 anodes which reduce metal corrosion.
After a thorough inspection of both lock gates and ensuring the commissioning work was complete, the dive team and crane operator got back into position once again to remove the stops logs and bridges, putting the Prince George lock back into full operation.
Gary O’Neill, Senior Engineering Manager commented “I would like to thank the team for all their hard work this year behind the scenes, keeping our critical infrastructure running efficiently and reliably; despite the bad weather and a full programme of work elsewhere, the team demonstrated a dedicated and flexible approach to getting the work done on time.”